Our Lady of Mercy: The Iconography
September 24
According to the Mercedarian Order, their work began in the 13th century when the Virgin Mary appeared on the same night to their founder, St. Peter Nolasco; St. Raymond of Peñafort; and the king of Aragon. She urged them all to save the many Christians who had been enslaved by Moors and were in danger of succumbing to forced conversion. Peter then established an order dedicated to the Virgin as she had appeared to him, under the name Our Lady of Mercy (Butler, I, 185-6).

Images of Our Lady of Mercy characteristically include a number of Christian faithful sheltering under Mary's blue mantle. Often there are also angels in the upper section of the image, sometimes placing a crown on her head. As "Notre Dame de Bon Secours," she has only angels under her cloak.

Prepared in 2016 by Richard Stracke, Emeritus Professor of English, Augusta University. Revised 2016-09-10.


  • 14th/15th century: Painting with SS. John the Baptist and John the Evangelist.
  • 15th century (?): Painted panel in Orvieto cathedral.
  • 17th century (?): Fresco in Padua.

Our Lady of Mercy, 15th century (See the description page)

This statue, also from the 15th century, dispenses with the angels. See the description page.


  • Feast day: September 24


  • Also known as Our Lady of Ransom